Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How does trust affect success?

Nearly three years ago, I took a leap of fate to begin my lifelong dream of having a writing career.  I say fate rather than faith, because I trusted that it was my fate to do it.  I have wanted to be a writer since before I could draw my letters.  I used to draw squiggly lines under pictures to tell the images' stories.  Writing has always been an important aspect of what makes me who I am.  When I took that writing leap, I trusted that, at long last, it was the right time to do it.

More than that, I trusted a lot of other things in that leaping moment.  I trusted that all of the things that come with a successful career - finances, recognition, and achievement - would come in time.  I trusted that this endeavor would make me happy.  I trusted that, overall, I would make good choices (or at least choices that weren't detrimental to anyone) and I trusted that I would figure out the obstacles and challenges I met along the way.  These are all vital aspects of this undertaking that I had to trust.

But, there was still more; I had to trust myself, my skills, and my ability to turn my desires and goals into realities.  All of this translates into self-trust, but I did not take this leap alone.  There is also trusting others and trusting the community.  (This summer, Chantel introduced the concept of trust and pointed out these three aspects of it.)

Besides trusting myself, I had to trust others, even though some of those others didn't necessarily trust me.  Some of the people closest to me thought this leap was a fool's errand and one or two among them seemed to help create obstacles for me to ensure my failure, while at the same time trying to help me.  Needless to say, there were plenty of bumps in the road, but I trusted they would come through and the vast majority of them trusted what I was doing enough to help me.  I'm not sure if it was my abilities, ambition or commitment they trusted or maybe some combination thereof, but I reached out to my friends and family and got the support I needed by trusting them.

The community trust had its own set of hurdles to get over, because, in essence, I had to build a brand new community of clients and a network of colleagues and supporters.  It started off slowly, but it has grown and is building momentum.  Not only do I have a committed group of returning clients, but an even larger community of supporters all of whom continue to give referrals for my work and service.  That is the two-way street of community trust.  I trust that they will request my services and they trust that I will provide quality service.

Trust is not always an easy thing to have, it is important and it begins with self-trust.  Self trust builds confidence which, in turn, creates empowerment.  If you trust in yourself and your abilities, it will show in the successes you achieve.  Are you ready to take a leap?

Practice Engaging Your Inner Wisdom:  Option 1 - Make a list of the skills you possess.  This includes everything from solving complex equations and writing poetry to playing music, cooking, driving, even making beds.  Which of those skills do you trust the most (have the most confidence in)?  Which skills give you the most satisfaction when you use them?  Are they the same?  How can or do you use those trusted skills to achieve success?

Option 2 - I've shared a story with you about how I achieved success through trust.  Share your story with me.  Leave a comment on this post or email me and let me know if I can share it with our readers in a future post or if you just want to share with me.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Do We Limit Our Success by Limiting Our Construct of Time

Written the night before the full moon, September 18, 2013, while on Vancouver Island.

On this eve of the full moon, heading into the autumnal equinox I am struck by the passing of time; how we delineate it and its meaning. Specifically, I am curious about time and success. Do we limit our success, by limiting our construct of time?

Moon Rising Cowichan Bay, BC
Earlier this evening, a colleague and I joked about how the organizers of The Labyrinth Society's 15th annual gathering used the tides to arrange the timing of workshops. We mused over this action and how it would never work, or be accepted in the context of "conventional time". Most of us are bound by our wrist watch; roped into our 24 hour cycle bisected by the morning snooze button and the last tv program we can watch before having to hit the hay in time to get up and do it all over again.

On Vancouver Island, where I presently find myself, they talk about "island time" - they say time has an "ish" at the end, so for example 7:30-ish; I like it! I am fortunate enough to be on "ish-time" in Los Angeles (due to my own intention). What I find even more striking than "ish-time" though, is our larger society's lack of connection to the nature around us that defines time in a deeper and more meaningful way than our wrist watches or alarm clocks. We don't consider the impact that the way we think about time has on success, or at least our perception of success.

Twenty-eight days pass and a new moon cycle begins. The equinoxes and solstices come every three months marking the changing of the seasons. The tides rise and fall, ebb and flow, and nature works it's magic. In spring animals are born, in fall food is harvested - nature has her time, and everything moves through its cycle to completion, to success. But somehow, we humans put tremendous pressure on ourselves to do things in a certain way, by a certain time. Get a college degree by this age, get married and have babies by a certain time, buy a house, get in with the right job, have enough saved for your retirement by a fixed age, and so on. If we don't meet the expectation, then we are not successful.

I am especially aware of this as I age - nearing 50, I have not kept up with "the Jones" - I don't own a house or have a million dollar IRA with a retirement date in sight. I remember my grandmother telling me that by 40, if nothing else, I should become a postal worker so that by the time I was 62 I could still get in a good 20 years. On society's terms I might not be considered successful.

But what about my time? This is my life. Why am I living on someone else's agenda? Is there only one way to be considered successful? What I am aware of is that by noticing the passing of time in the context of nature, I see that  everything has its time and is successful; this includes me. My "success" has, like the tides, ebbed and flowed. Like the full moon, my success has waxed and waned, and like the turning of the seasons, my success comes in cycles.

"We do without doing and everything gets done." ~ Richard Blum

What about your success? Do you notice a pattern? If you don't feel successful right now, be patient, keep doing "your" work. Your time will come around again.

Practice engaging inner wisdom.
Begin to notice time in different ways. Get up with the dawn, or go to bed with the sunset. Pay attention to the phases of the moon, or the coming of the solstices and equinoxes. What about 7-year transitions, or time in the context of the seasons of your life? Ponder your successes within the various rhythms of time that surround you.